Terns - flagged and banded

To: (ERROR) QWSGCommittee:;, birding-aus <>
Subject: Terns - flagged and banded
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 12:35:09 +1000
Hello all,

I thought I might pass on the email below especially to people in
SEQld, to keep a lookout for marked birds. This came from Clive
Minton in Victoria. People who see flagged or banded terns should
pass on details to Linda Cross 

Has anyone seen any Littles or Commons  in SEQ yet?



I'm also really pleased that you are going to able to get close to the
terns regularly this year. You really ought to be able to gather some
extremely valuable info. If I summarize what you ought to look for on each
species it may help you ensure that you get correct and complete info on
each bird.

Common Tern

Most of these have just a single orange leg flag on one tarsus. It doesn't
matter which leg it's on and it doesn't matter whether you see a metal band
or not.Note there are also a few birds with faded old orange/blue or
red/white colour bands on still around.

Little Tern

The main, long standing, colour marking used in both NSW and Vic to
identify individual birds is a combination of a metal band and a colour
flag on one leg and 2 different colour flags on the other leg. The postion
of the flags (ie which is the upper and which is the lower) and the leg on
which the metal band/single flag combination is placed are critical. So
it's also necessary to know whether the metal bnad is above or below the
flag. If you get the combination right we can tell you which bird it is and
all its previous history.
In addition since last year we have been putting just a single orange leg
flag on some birds. (and a metal band on the opposite leg. This simple
combination has been used for those birds which have been considered by
plumage/moult to be of Japaneses origin.
The Japanese themselves have also put soem colour flags or colour bands on
Little Terns. Generally these have been single colour bands of much larger
size than normally used in Australia.

Caspian TErn

As of Dec 1999 we have started putting single orange leg flags on Caspian
Tern chicks in Vic, with the metal band on the opposite leg. The orange
flag is put on different legs depending on the banding location so it is
important to record which leg it is on. There have already been 5 reports
from Moreton Bay this last winter.

Crested Tern

A few of our Crested Terns also migrate a sfar north as SE Q'land. For the
last 5 years we have been putting a single powder coated metal band on
chicks - orange, blue, dark green, yellow, white are the colours used so
far. It is not necessary to record on which leg the coloured band is placed.

Armed with the above I expect a continuous flow of exciting records!!
Seriously I'm slightly surprised that you say that few Lit Terns and Com
Terns have yet arrived. In 1994 Pat and I found quite large nos (flocks of
100s along the northern NSW coast at the end of Sept. So hopefully
you'llhave some arrivals soon.
Very best wishes

Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'    152º 56'

Ph (07) 5494 0994

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